Vanessa V. Sarathy, PhD

Our research of mosquito-transmitted flaviviruses involves both in vitro and in vivo studies. We examine the pathogenesis of dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome using mouse models that mimic key aspects of human infections caused by the four dengue viruses. These models provide a platform to investigate disease severity, as well as to evaluate antiviral therapies and vaccines. We also study the antibody response to the flavivirus envelope protein located on the surface of the virion. The envelope a dynamic multi-functional glycoprotein that elicits neutralizing antibodies and is an important virulence factor. Further, we characterize flaviviruses using next generation sequencing to investigate the relationship between genetics and virulence. Our combinatorial approach is key to deciphering the complicated pathogenesis of flaviviruses and to understand how to combat disease.

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